22 November 2003

November 19, 2003

Bush in London

Fritz Kraemer died recently. What has this got to do with President Bush's visit to London? Let me explain.

The monocle-wearing Prof. Kraemer, a curious survival of Wilhelmine Germany, and an accomplished scholar of international law, political philosophy, and history, died of kidney failure at age 95 in Washington on Sept. 8, as I just learned. It could be argued that his was the clearest mind behind the American prosecution of the Cold War against Soviet Communism. From a small office in the Pentagon, he taught a generation of U.S. officers not only the principles of geostrategic warfare; but the reasons why it must be fought and won.

Kraemer grasped that it takes more than superior man- and firepower to defeat an enemy that is ideologically driven; that geostrategic contests are determined as much by irrational and immaterial factors. He grasped that the great weakness of the United States and the West, after the defeat of Nazism, was identical with the great weakness of Germany that had allowed the rise of Hitler. In each case, it is the existence of an intellectual elite who think about abstractions instead of realities, and whose instinct to appease a mortal enemy is founded in a lazy, cowardly, and conceited moral relativism. Kraemer was father to the phrase, "provocative weakness" -- in two words, the reason why the West is under attack today from such terror networks as Al Qaeda.

The man himself was a miracle of nature. He was of one piece. In the Germany of his early manhood, in the 1930s, he launched himself physically and fearlessly into demonstrations by both Brownshirts and Reds, as a streetfighting army of one.

He merits a full hagiography -- I invite readers to Google-search the obituaries -- but my purpose today is to juxtapose him with Henry Kissinger, whose intellectual mentor Kraemer was. Kraemer disowned his protégé in the détente era of the 1970s. He believed Mr. Kissinger guilty of spineless concessions to the political and intellectual zeitgeist. Kraemer was a man who believed in fighting for the truth, regardless of consequences; and of fighting with no option of surrender or even compromise with evil. He was no "mere conservative".

Donald Rumsfeld is his true protégé in the U.S. government today, and to a lesser extent President Bush. These are men who realize the U.S., and all free peoples, have a mortal enemy in ideological Islamism, and that it must be defeated rather than accommodated. This has made them deeply unpopular with the intelligentsia of our time, and especially with that half-educated reflection of it in the mass media. Europe and Canada are much farther gone down the rat-hole to surrender, but the U.S. itself also teeters.

As I write, the anti-Bush demonstrations are cranking up in the London streets. Surprisingly, the most recent survey of British public opinion shows fully 62 per cent essentially pro-American -- despite the 24/7 barrage of anti-American malice in such media as the BBC. And Prime Minister Tony Blair has, so far, survived the political ordeal of standing with President Bush, the Poles, the Australians, & other allies against Islamo-fascism, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But there is hell to pay for this courageous position. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing -- and those with little knowledge of how the world unfolds, demand that America and Britain give up defending themselves against the menace made visible in the morning of 9/11/01. To what is apparently a majority of polling respondents on the European continent, little democratic Israel is the world's most dangerous country, and George W. Bush its most dangerous man.

What is interesting here, to those capable of taking a longer view, is the spectacle of history repeating itself -- less in outward events, than in inward structure. As in the 1930s, leftists and pacifists on the streets of Europe directly advanced the triumphs of Nazism, so today the demonstrators work to advance the triumphs of Islamism. For they refuse to acknowledge the consequences of ignoring such an enemy.

And so the bombing of synagogues in Istanbul draws, from e.g. Britain's Stop the War Coalition, no whimper of distress. But the arrival in England of the Western world's pre-eminent statesman ignites a self-righteous outcry; and the Coalition's demonstrators directly aid potential terrorists by distracting the police from urgent security measures.

In their own subjective world of illusions, the demonstrators demand not surrender, but an unobtainable "peace". However, in the objective world of cause and effect, they are the reliable allies of the people who flew airplanes into the World Trade Centre, who blow up Jews in synagogues and supermarkets, who tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and bulldozed their bodies into mass graves.

The connexion between present and past was well-made in an e-mail forwarded to me, from an American Jew, returning from holiday in Europe. He wrote that, "When my grandfather left Europe in 1937, the graffiti on the walls read, 'Jews go to Palestine'. Today the graffiti reads, 'Jews out of Palestine'. How soon Europe forgets."

Fritz Kraemer, that German refugee in America, understood what Bush and Blair were about. He had a reputation as a moral absolutist. Which means, he refused to succumb to evil.

David Warren

© Ottawa Citizen
My father was in the Merchant Marines in the 1940s. He died a few years ago and I got a stackof magazines he kept in the attic. It's interesting to read what people were saying in the late 40s.

To the Class of '47
By O. Istris
June 1947 Vol 1, No 4
47 - The Magazine of the Year
published by Associated Magazine Contributors, Inc

It is almost impossible, is it not, for you to play with the possibility that, for some ages to come, yours may be the last generation of civilized Western man. Yet unless you play with that possibility and incorporate it into your thinking, you are unprepared for life. Unless you realize that you are part of a civilization, which during your own time must either change or die, you are unprepared for life.
Here, as some see it, is one possible future, sketchily outlined in three general statements:
1. A fairly large proportion of the world's children, women and men, including particularly those who by accident inhabit the planetary area roughly 30N by 50N latitude, 70W by 125W longitude, will during the next decade or two die premature and unnatural deaths.
2. The technical and industrial base on which 'advanced' people like ourselves rest will be gravely and perhaps fatally disrupted.
3. The system of ideas and incentives (call it Western Civilization) which is want really sustains us will be wrecked, to be replaced by a new system. This new system - which is as old as the Egypt of the Pharaohs, for it is merely tyranny in modern clothes - will offer the richest nourishment to two extreme types of living organisms: near paranoiacs and human automata.
Toward these three statements - actually they are indivisible - you may adopt one of three attitudes, each involving a particular line of conduct. First, you may reject them as absurd. Second, you may accept them with resignation or approval. Third, you may investigate them.
If you should welcome these statements, not with resignation but with approval, you need have no fear of standing alone. There are quantities of people, known as realists, in all countries who have already in their minds written books suavely explaining both the inevitability and the propriety of the ant heap state. The German, Oswald Spengler, was such a professor, and we have some of them in our own country. Generals have calmly accepted the probability of the death of 25,000,000 of our population as the unfortunate but necessary result of a sudden attack. Publishers and journalists of the Goebbels type - a type not in the least peculiar to Germany - look forward with interest to a social order in which the minds of human beings may be manipulated at will. They are already warming up to the game.
It is a grave error to assume that all men love freedom. Many have a deep passion for dictatorship, whether it be the small dictatorship of the family, or the vast dictatorship of a whole country. Many more have a deep passion for servility. The first group loves irresponsibility; the second, no responsibility. Both groups - how expensively this was rehearsed for us in Germany between 1933 and 1945 - must hate detached thought and what is loosely called culture.
The reason is clear: if one thinks long enough one is bound to conclude that freedom is a good. Plato said it long ago: "As there are misanthropists or haters of men, so there are also misologists, or haters of ideas.: And the two, you might add, are one.
Perhaps you are such a misanthropist-misologist. Do not hesitate to confess it, for you will find yourself in the company of some of the greatest and most famous men in history. Indeed, for long intervals the world has been owned and operated by such men, the powermen, the strong men, the shrewd men, the angle-figurers, the accumulators.
If you feel in yourself an irrepressible dislike of, or contempt for, people who do not resemble you in race, color, religion, manners, economic background, social behaior; if to your inward vision humanity seems to be or should be arranged in a fixed, hierarchical order; if you are confident that the application of sufficient force will solve any problem; if the idea of violence subtly fills some of your unconfessed daydreams; if the notion of obeying a "superior" supplies you with a secret comfort; if in your judgment mankind has worked itself into such a complicated mess that salvation can come about only through the imposition of "order" if you are heartily sick of words nobody understands, such as democracy, freedom, justice; if you are intrigued by the words everybody understands, such as success, power, security; if in the depths of your heart you feel that the idea men, from Socrates to Jesus down to your own philosophy professor, are but a procession of futile windbags; if these suppositions awaken in you a positive response, then you will probably be happy and useful citizen of that future state so well characterized by H.G. Wells as a human termitaruim.
But in your proper zeal to destroy the foreign enemy, do not lose sight of the more insidious enemy at home. That enemy is the detached intelligence, and you must do everything you can to lower its prestige.
You must, for example, vigorously attack those men and women who are subject to the absurd delusion that there is some nobility in every individual. You must - but you hardly need specific counsels; your own sound, healthy instincts will tell you which side to choose, which men to cultivate, which phrases to utter, which measures to support, and which office-seekers to elect. And, should the atomic bombs miss you, and the killing emanations and germs and poison passes and clouds of fire - should you survive all this, I predict for you a brilliant future. You will end up as master or slave and in either case you will feel just dandy.

21 November 2003

FrontPage magazine.com: "Death threats have forced a French publishing house to cancel plans this month to publish a translated version of American author Robert Spencer's book, Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About The World's Fastest Growing Faith."
Soon after the book's publication was approved in France last April, its translator, French writer Guy Milliere, began to receive death threats.
"I sent him (the publisher) the translation of the first thirty pages," said Milliere in a written interview. "A couple of weeks later I started to receive death threats by e-mail: 'You must be an enemy of Islam; you will die for what you do'; 'You must be a Jew; I hope somebody will slit your throat, you dirty Jew pig', etc...I asked the police to act; I have received no answer."
Milliere adds that the intended publisher, Yves Michalon, also received death threats. Moreover, opposition to the book's publication in France came not only from outside, but also from within the publishing house, which bears the publisher's name. According to Milliere, one of Michalon's assistants told him that if he published the book, he would resign, because it was "racist." He also said he would go to the media with this charge.
For his part, Spencer calls the cancellation of his book's publication "...a symptom of the Islamic agenda in France and the silencing of non-Muslims as 'dhimmis'."
"What you have here is a subjugation of public opinion in France," he said. "It's ironic. If you don't say Islam is a religion of peace, they will kill you. My book doesn't advocate murdering anyone. It only investigates questions about Islam, but it is so threatening that they'll kill to silence it."
While people are threatened with death over publication of Spencer's work, the novel Rever la Palestine (Dream of Palestine) faced no apparent obstacles in reaching the booksellers.
The author has one of the book's characters calling for a Jihad against the Jews, while the main character becomes a suicide bomber who kills five Israelis.
As for the stillborn Islam Unveiled, Milliere says he will now try to get another publisher for the book, possibly in Switzerland. He says free speech concerning Islam doesn't exist anymore in France.
Islam Unveiled at amazon.com and at amazon.fr
Robert Spencer's Dhimmiwatch and a quote from the site: "The dhimmi attitude of chastened subservience has entered into Western academic study of Islam, and from there into journalism, textbooks, and the popular discourse. One must not point out the depredations of jihad and dhimmitude; to do so would offend the multiculturalist ethos that prevails everywhere today."
Analysis: The roots of jihad
(note: this article appeared in the BBC in 2001)
Jihad has become a rallying cry for some Muslims
By Middle East analyst Fiona Symon

The Arabic word jihad means literally "struggle" and Islamic scholars have long been divided on how it should be interpreted.

For some it means the struggle to defend one's faith and ideals against harmful outside influences.

For others it has come to represent the duty of Muslims to fight to rid the Islamic world of western influence in the form of corrupt and despotic leaders and occupying armies.

This is a view that has come to be widely accepted among the more militant Muslim groups, although most would not agree with the methods adopted by Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda movement.

Modern jihad

The origins of Bin Laden's concept of jihad can be traced back to two early 20th century figures, who started powerful Islamic revivalist movements in response to colonialism and its aftermath.

Pakistan and Egypt - both Muslim countries with a strong intellectual tradition - produced the movements and ideology that would transform the concept of jihad in the modern world.

In Egypt, Hassan al-Banna's Muslim Brotherhood and in Pakistan, Syed Abul Ala Maududi's Jamaat Islami sought to restore the Islamic ideal of the union of religion and state.

They blamed the western idea of the separation of religion and politics for the decline of Muslim societies.

This, they believed, could only be corrected through a return to Islam in its traditional form, in which society was governed by a strict code of Islamic law.

Al-Banna and Maudoudi breathed new life into the concept of jihad as a holy war to end the foreign occupation of Muslim lands.

Wide acceptance

In the 1950s Sayed Qutb, a prominent member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, took the arguments of al-Banna and Maududi a stage further.

For Qutb, all non-Muslims were infidels - even the so-called "people of the book", the Christians and Jews - and he predicted an eventual clash of civilisations between Islam and the west.

Qutb was executed by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1966.

According to Dr Azzam Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, Qutb's writings in response to Nasser's persecution of the Muslim Brotherhood, "acquired wide acceptance throughout the Arab world, especially after his execution and more so following the defeat of the Arabs in the 1967 war with Israel".

Qutb and Maududi inspired a whole generation of Islamists, including Ayatollah Khomeini, who developed a Persian version of their works in the 1970s.

Afghan impetus

The works of al-Banna, Qutb and Maududi were also to become the main sources of reference for the Arabs who fought alongside the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s.

One of these was the Palestinian scholar, Abdullah Azzam, who had fought with the PLO in the 1970s but became disillusioned with the Palestinian leadership because of its secular outlook.

Islam has developed a radical agenda

Azzam studied Islamic law at Cairo's Al-Azhar, where he met the family of Sayed Qutb, and went on to teach at university in Saudi Arabia, where one of his students was Osama Bin Laden.

In 1979, the battle to liberate Afghanistan from Soviet occupation gave Abdullah Azzam a golden opportunity to put his revolutionary Islamic ideals into practice.

Dubbed the 'Emir of Jihad', he was one of the first Arabs to join the Afghan mujahedeen, along with Osama Bin Laden.

Together they set up a base in Peshawar, where they recruited and housed Arabs who had come to join the "holy war".

Azzam published books and magazines advocating the moral duty of every Muslim to undertake jihad and he travelled the world calling on Muslims to join the fight.

'Mentality of jihad'

Saudi Arabia, which follows the fundamentalist Wahhabi school of Islam, had become a natural haven for radical Islamist scholars, including the radical Egyptian Islamist Ayman al-Zawahri.

The ruling family, which had been criticised for its pro-western stance, seized upon the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as a cause which could rally Islamist support and deflect internal criticism.

The kingdom now threw its political and financial weight behind the Afghan jihad, which was also backed by Pakistan and the United States.

Pakistan found it useful to nurture its own jihad movements, which could be harnessed in its territorial dispute with India over Kashmir.

The Saudi Islamist Saad al-Faqih says that the Islamic scholars in Saudi Arabia were careful at that time not to talk in terms of a jihad against anyone other than the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan.

But he says that the war in Afghanistan created a longer-term "mentality of jihad" which some found hard to abandon.

Once the Soviet forces had been expelled from Afghanistan, Azzam believed that the Arab fighters should return home and resume their former occupations, according to Dr Tamimi.

Gulf war blow

But followers of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad movement, an extremist offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood led by al-Zawahri, argued that "Afghanistan should be a platform for the liberation of the entire Muslim world".

Dr Tamimi believes Azzam's assassination in a car bomb in Peshawar in 1989 helped Zawahri's more hardline view to prevail.

Zawahri's cause was strengthened by the 1991 Gulf war, which brought US troops to Saudi Arabia.

After devoting their lives to the liberation of Muslim territory from foreign occupation, it was a bitter blow for Bin Laden and his Arab mujahideen to see land they regarded as sacred occupied by "infidel" soldiers.

Zawahri's growing influence over Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organisation paved the way for the notorious 1998 "declaration of war" against the United States and the spate of terrorist attacks on American targets that followed.
Why Jihad?
Robert Spencer

JIHAD IS A CENTRAL DUTY of every Muslim. Modern Muslim theologians have spoken of many things as jihads: defending the faith from critics, supporting its growth and defense financially, even migrating to non-Muslim lands for the purpose of spreading Islam. But in Islamic history and doctrine violent jihad is founded on numerous verses of the Qur‚an most notably, one known in Islamic theology as the "Verse of the Sword": "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful" (Sura 9:5). Establishing "regular worship" and paying the "poor-due" (zakat) means essentially that they will become Muslim, as these are two of the central responsibilities of every Muslim.

Sahih Bukhari, which Muslims regard as the most trustworthy of all the many collections of traditions of Muhammad, records this statement of the Prophet: "Allah assigns for a person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah's Cause and nothing causes him to do so except belief in Allah and in His Messengers, that he will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr)."

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that "in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force." In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with "power politics," because Islam is "under obligation to gain power over other nations."

Violent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. The passages quoted above and many others like them form a major element of the motivation of radical Muslims worldwide today. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad. The theology of jihad, with all its assumptions about unbelievers‚ lack of human rights and dignity, is available today as a justification for anyone with the will and the means to bring it to life.

20 November 2003

Saudis' strict Islam called a 'threat' -- The Washington Times"Wahhabism is a puritanical form of Islam that teaches intolerance of anyone who does not conform to its worldview — Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
    It is taught in Saudi schools and preached in tens of thousands of government-supported mosques.
    Several panelists said considering this type of education, it was no accident that 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudis."

Miracles never cease: the US STATE DEPARTMENT said this!
    "It is an ideology that is incompatible with the war on terrorism," said Michael Young, chairman of the State Department's Commission on International Religious Freedom.
I guess the Commission on International Religious Freedom didn't tell the Commission on Giving People Who Control The Oil Whatever They Want what they were up to.
The commission, established by Congress during the Clinton administration as a State Department body charged with monitoring religious rights, held a hearing yesterday titled: "Is Saudi Arabia a Strategic Threat: The Global Propagation of Intolerance."
Thank you, Bill Clinton, for making this possible. It is greatly appreciated.

19 November 2003

We just got home from a presentation at the university of HonestReporting's Relentless.
This is a VERY important documentary about the Oslo process that also in the end puts the situation in the context of global jihad. It began as a PowerPoint presentation and now is a full fledged documentary. It explains step by step what was agreed to in the Oslo agreements, what was lived up to and what was not -- and then it goes on to show the incitement and double talk of Arafat in actual footage from Palestinian television. This is all stuff we knew and had seen before on Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI. Scenes from Palestinian summer camps and Gaza schools were shown. (Internet Haganah got its start because of a Gaza kindergarten -- we happened across a website showing pictures of a Gaza kindergarten's grooming of innocent children to hate and kill, which prompted a long discussion and an email to the site's hosting provider.) Violence and violent rhetoric, hate filled Friday kuthbas broadcast on PA TV, children reciting poems and singing about their own deaths, textbooks glorifing death for children and showing maps with no Israel. As I said this is all stuff we had seen before, and yet it is gripping and painful to see it on a TV screen.
Unfortunately, of the small crowd, not everyone stayed all the way through the film. Everyone who considered themselves on the left either didn't bother to show up (thus the small crowd) or left early. This is too bad. One of the people that left was Israeli and I think her friend was Palestinian, although she didn't introduce her so I can only guess it is someone she talked about before. I wish they had stayed and given us more of their perspective. I would LOVE to hear a convincing argument why I shouldn't worry about Arafat's 2 faces, why the teaching of hate to children is not a problem. I am wide open to an alternative way to see it, but if people leave and don't engage in constructive conversation, then we get nowhere. One person did stay until the end and begin to participate in a talk. She brought up the recent idea of dismantling Israel, moving all Israelis someplace else. The reaction was a lot of shaking heads and "Where would we go? Germany? France? Detroit?" There was just shaking heads, it's not like anyone raised their voice, and yet this person became uncomfortable and left. Can we really be that scary?
I'm afraid the small turnout and the people walking out is a sign of the polarization happening in our town. Everyone can only bear to talk about this issue with people that already agree with them, and when we are at synagogue, or learning Yiddish, or see each other at a restaurant, we just ignore the elephant in the room.
HonestReporting has a goal to get a million people to see this documentary and they are already up to 500,000. They would like for you to order the video and show it to friends and family at home. From their site:
Host private showings of Relentless for the purposes of raising individual awareness of the situation in Israel and encourage others to become active in this campaign.
For more information or assistance running an effective Home Group contact: HonestReporting Director or Programming Scott Mathias at 877-354-7677 (toll free) or scott@HonestReporting.com
We will send you a DVD or VHS video (you pay $10US plus shipping and handling fee), if you have hosted or will host a 'Home Group' screening of "Relentless". All you have to do is download and fill out the Home Group Promotion Form and e-mail it to scott@honestreporting.com and we will send you your free copy of "Relentless". You will find the Home Group Promotion Form in the Home Group section of our website.
If you would like to become more involved with HonestReporting's Home Group campaign please see our Home Group City Coordinator document.

This is a powerful documentary, it's made to have an impact, and because of the violence shown it's not recommended for children (HonestReporting says not under 18 but I feel a more realistic limit would be not under 12 or 10 depending on how much the child has been exposed to and can handle; it would probably frighten younger children).
It's terribly important for as many people as possible to see this. The trailer can be seen here in windows media or quicktime.
Dhimmi Watch A Bengali newspaper reports that non-muslim businessmen and politicians received a letter from Harkat-E-Islam Al-Jihad telling them to convert to Islam within 7 days or "their family members will be attacked and their houses will be burnt." The letter goes on to say "We have established Harkat-E-Islam Al-Jihad to eliminate people like you" (non-muslims)

17 November 2003

Another 'honor' victim: Daughter, raped by brothers, killed by mother ABU QASH, West Bank - Rofayda Qaoud - raped by her brothers and impregnated - refused to commit suicide, her mother recalls, even after she bought the unwed teenager a razor with which to slit her wrists. So Amira Abu Hanhan Qaoud says she did what she believes any good Palestinian parent would.
Killing her sixth-born child took 20 minutes, Qaoud tells a visitor through a stream of tears and cigarettes that she smokes in rapid succession. "She killed me before I killed her," says the 43-year-old mother of nine. "I had to protect my children. This is the only way I could protect my family's honor."
According to court records, Rofayda was raped by her brothers, Fahdi, 22, and Ali, 20, in a bedroom they shared in the family's three-room house. On Nov. 26, 2002, doctors at a nearby hospital who were treating Rofayda for an injured leg discovered she was eight months pregnant.
No trace of Rofayda or her brothers remains in the family home. Qaoud says she ripped up all of their photographs and burned their clothes. The bedroom in which she killed her daughter is now a storeroom.
Erasing the memories is harder, she admits. She eases her pain by doting on her three children still living at home, especially the youngest, Fatima, 9, whom she lavishes with kisses. The children say they've forgiven Qaoud and return her affection.
"My mother did this because she does not want us to be punished by people," Fatima explains with a shy smile. Leaning into Qaoud's arms, the little girl adds: "I love my mother much more now than before."